Though it be but Little, it is Fierce

I’m still giving you Monday morning costuming updates, so I feel accountable to keep making progress.  This week I sewed together the muslin mockup for the corset.  Because fit is really important for this kind of bodice, you make a scratch copy of your pattern in muslin, so you don’t waste your good fabric on a first draft.

Good seamstresses make later drafts in fabric that more closely resembles what you’re actually using, and insert boning and grommets, so it wears like the final garment.  I cheated and just had by two roommates hold it closed while I stood in front of a mirror.  It’s not a perfect substitute, but it’s faster, and, as the costume shop manager used to say: it only has to read from the stage.

Anyway, it’s just as well, because there was a big problem that I didn’t need stays to spot.

The corset is too short!  It’s actually pretty well fitted, wherever it exists (me holding it one-handed is a bad proxy for fit), but it’s too short on top.  The pattern I was using didn’t give a lot of guidance on how to figure out how tall to make the corset, so I didn’t add enough above the bust line.  Alas!

So, next week, look for a new muslin that I can actually try on without a t-shirt underneath.  I’m travelling for the weekend, so that will be all the sewing for the week.  But the next week, I’ll hopefully be cutting my actual costume fabric!

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  • Courtney F.

    Do you know what you’re going to use for boning yet? I used heavy-duty cable ties from the Home Depot when making a Regency corset some years back, and they worked extremely well!

    • leahlibresco

      I’m planning to order steel boning once I have a working draft and can measure the channels.

  • grok87

    Good luck with the costume Leah! Careful not to make it too tight. 🙂

    “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now…I cry out, I gasp and pant.”

    • jenesaispas

      Sounds like a dramatic ‘de-lurk’:)

      Swish online bible! thanks.

      • grok87

        @jenesaipas, you’re welcome. just stumbled on the website.

  • Doragoon

    I thought the idea of corsets is that you are changed to match the fit of the corset, not the other way around. That’s the way my husband worked when he made mine. To check the fit, I’d put it on a pillow, not on yourself. Then you can check the measurements and see the shape a little easier.

    • leahlibresco

      There’s a limit to how much your shape can change! And a corset doesn’t change the height difference between your hips and your natural waist, so you need everything to line up the right way on top of each other.

    • It’s not so good for you to use corsets to extensively change your shape. But a properly fitted corset is supposed to be very comfortable and supportive, especially when one is so well endowed that one’s back hurts from it.

  • KL

    I dunno, that pattern might fit the bill for a “Saucy Bar Wench” costume. If that were your goal.

    Double props on this post, both for your tee-shirt (I’ve been sending the link around to all my former philosophy profs) and for referencing one of my favorite passive aggressive Shakespearean put-downs.